PETA Demonstration
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12/08/09 Mark Anderson
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) held a protest today at Mitchell Elementary school in South Tampa. PETA was on site to ask students and their parents to boycott the Ringling Brothers Circus, which is in Tampa in early January.

Elephants are huge wild animals, up to 4500 pounds. The training and controlling of these huge beasts is not a simple task. PETA alleges that Ringling Brothers systemically abuses elephants, using sharp training tools known as Bullhooks.

The Ringling Brothers Circus has been in business since 1907, and has been using elephants to entertain kids and adults alike for generations.

Amanda Fortina of PETA alleges that Ringling is responsible for the death of four infant elephants over the past decade.

Janice Aria, Director of Animal Stewardship for Ringling, explains that while there have been infant deaths, there have also been many more babies successfully born and grown to adulthood and that the infant deaths were due to natural causes.

The principal of Mitchell School refused to speak with WMNF, and told the Tampa Tribune, “it’s a shame that they have to do this as our school is getting out.” The school went into tightened security today, as students left the building. Parents and Guardians were asked to pick their children up inside the school. The group of four PETA people included one dressed as an elephant, who handed out cartoon and flyers on the elephant issue.

PETA plans similar protests in three other Florida Cities where the circus is performing. The Ringling Circus is at the St. Pete Times Forum on January 8th through 10th.

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